Kukla's Korner

Not Much Drama In Conference Finals

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Howard Berger of Fan590,

One of the most compelling Stanley Cup tournaments in recent memory is becoming less intriguing by the day. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings are making a mockery of the Conference finals as they steam toward a second match-up in the championship round. The Cup semifinals could end in a total of nine games for only the fifth time since the National Hockey League expanded in 1967. That would occur if the Penguins sweep the Carolina Hurricanes here in Raleigh on Tuesday, while the Red Wings eliminate Chicago in Game 5 of the West series on Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena.

The saving grace, of course, would be a potential collision of freight trains in the Stanley Cup final, as Pittsburgh and Detroit appear head-and-shoulders above the competition right now. But, parity in the championship round is not guaranteed.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Dealing With Defeats

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Caulton Tudor of the News & Observer,

With a chance to win their third NHL Eastern Conference championship in the past seven years, the Hurricanes now have spent a full week stuck in a bull’s eye role during target practice by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Saturday’s 6-2 win by the Penguins in the RBC Center ran the games count to 3-love and the goals total to 16-8.

In the afterglow of thoserip-roaring adventures in early-round escapes against New Jersey and Boston, this excursion against the Penguins is downright depressing.

As hockey years go, the Triangle is still a toddler. Hurricanes fans are used to seeing close playoff series or not getting to the postseason party at all. Other than that rarest of sports species known as Duke football fans, most North Carolinians just aren’t very familiar with having to deal with prolonged periods of hopelessness and even the most one-sided Duke football losses rarely lasted longer than three hours.

Truth is, trailing 3-0 is a lot more exasperating than having the regional culture ridiculed by the New England media. Sticks and pucks may break our trucks, etc. Besides, at the end of the day against the fancy Boston bourgeoisie, it was Les Gooberhabs, 4-3.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Zezel Battling For His Life

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Former Maple Leaf Peter Zezel was close to death last night at a Toronto hospital after battling a serious blood disorder.

Zezel, one of the most popular Leafs in the club’s success in the early 1990s and a 15-year NHLer, was admitted last week for scheduled surgery, but those close to the family say complications developed and his conditioned worsened.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+zezel

The Improved Penguins

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The debate has already started as to whether the Pittsburgh Penguins are so significantly different this spring compared to a year ago that they will be able to become the first team since the ‘95 New Jersey Devils to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in a Cup final series.

To some degree, that’s unfair, as the Pens did take the Wings to six games a year ago, with Game 5 decided in overtime (Pittsburgh win) and Game 6 a one-goal squeaker.

So perhaps they don’t have to be significantly different. Just a goal or two better.

Many will point to the threesome of Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal and suggest with confidence that simply being a year older and a year more experienced makes all three more developed players, and therefore the Pens are better on that basis alone.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Report- Fedorov Close To Signing With KHL

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via TSN,

It appears Sergei Fedorov is ready to leave the Washington Capitals and play in the Kontinental Hockey League next season.

Citing sources in Russia, RDS.ca is reporting that Fedorov is about to agree to a two-year deal with Russia’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

The report indicates the two-year contract will see Fedorov collect $3.8 million per season.

Fedorov would be joining his younger brother Fedor on the Metallurg Magnitogorsk roster.

added 10:43am, via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,

I was just told moments ago by someone in the Fedorov camp that the 39-year-old veteran still has interest in playing for Washington next season. But for Fedorov to return to the Caps, I was told via text message, “a decision has to be made soon by Wash.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+fedorov

Absolute Thievery

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By IwoCPO

I’ve decided to look through every Wing blog listed on the starboard side, steal the really good stuff, paste it here, provide no attribution whatsoever, tell you that it’s my own work and then ridicule any blogger who dares suggest I did anything even close to that.

Sound good? 


Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Calder Cup:  SemiFinal Review

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The semi-finals have completed in the AHL Calder Cup.  I will review them here.  The first round review is here and the second round here.

Hershey Bears defeat Providence Bruins four games to one  Hershey is the Washington Capitals affiliate and Providence is that of the Boston Bruins.  Hershey had big offensive contributions from Alexandre Giroux, Chris Bourque and Keith Aucoin.  Michal Neuvirth has been very good in their goal.  He sports a .929 saves percentage in the playoffs so far.  Providence’s offence was led by Martin St Pierre and Brad Marchand, with Jeff Penner leading the defence.  Tuukka Rask was good in goal with a .930 saves percentage.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Quenneville Fined $10,000

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From the CP via TSN:

The National Hockey League has fined Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville US$10,000 for criticizing the officiating in Game 4 of the Western Conference final.

Quenneville fumed over a roughing call against defenceman Matt Walker during a scrum as the first period ended Sunday.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joel+quenneville

Coyotes & NHL Agree on Ongoing Operations

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail:

The NHL and Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes have essentially agreed on how the team will be operated on a day-to-day basis as a result of court-ordered mediation.

Both sides will be able to tell U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Redfield T. Baum at a hearing on Wednesday that the once-contentious issue of who controls the team has been resolved. It is expected that the league will continue to finance the team’s operation until a buyer is found.

There is one source of conflict remaining – the timeline of the bankruptcy petition, sale of the team and its possible relocation. The Moyes camp wants it done quickly so that the winning bidder, be it Jim Balsillie and his $212.5-million (all currency U.S.) offer or anyone else, can move the team by the start of the season this fall and avoid another year of $40-million-plus losses in Phoenix. The NHL remains adamant that is much too soon for a move for various reasons, including their procedures for allowing a franchise to move and logistical problems with the schedule.


Update 9:03pm ET: On a related note from TSN

Jim Balsillie has formally asked other NHL owners to let him into the club.

The Canadian billionaire filed an application with the league’s board of governors seeking a transfer of the Phoenix Coyotes ownership interest, one of his representatives confirmed Monday.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jerry+moyes

Bylsma Press Conference

Blog: KK Hockey By Alanah McGinley

Q.      Just curious if you’re getting to a point or would you like to get to a point where you go back to six defensemen? And sister question, did you assess Sergei Gonchar’s play since his injury?

        DAN BYLSMA: Again, you know, the reasons why we entertained going to seven, they’re still there to varying degrees. Things have changed, but we’re still contemplating that situation.

        You know, I think at some point we’d get back to six.

Sergei’s play – I think we’ve benefitted a lot from him on the power play. The way he brings the puck up the ice and in the zone. Just knowing the nuisances of getting the puck to different areas that we need to try to have success.

So he’s big in that regard.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+bylsma

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